Archive | September, 2012

Mini Blog- Hank’s Play Date

28 Sep

Snuggle Bug 

Since becoming famous on Facebook and Petfinder.com (see his Petfinder page here: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24053648) Hank has gotten to enjoy some of the perks of being a star.  Most recently, a previous Minnesota Pitbull Rescue adopter asked to have a play date with Hank.

Now, Hank feels like a pretty lucky kid on any old day at our house, but THIS day he got to go on an extra special field trip.  Hank met a Minnesota Pitbull Rescue  alumni, now named Otis, and they went for a mini-adventure.

We took Hank and Otis to a park where they got to run, hike on trails, play tug of war, and even visit a pond.  I’m not sure if Hank is a water dog or not.. It was pretty cold out.  But he certainly enjoyed running on the little dock, wrestling with Otis who IS a water dog, and getting water everywhere.

Hank enjoyed the trails a lot, typically lolly-gagging behind us, always wagging his tail.   I think his favorite time of the day, however, was treat time.

“I’m sitting.. Can I have that please??”

I am so proud of Hank for doing so well with yet another dog.  He enjoys their company, he has no food aggression, he meets them well on or off leash, and he loves to snuggle with them.  It makes me happy to know that he does just as well with other dogs as he does with mine.

Hank and Mylo

Every time I meet new people they tell me how fantastic it is that I foster.  How great it is, and how they don’t know how I do it.  I enjoy it so much that I don’t feel like there’s any credit to take.  I feel like it’s so much less than some people do.  However, I have come to recognize that being a foster family has taken an immense amount of cooperation from all of the members of my family, and THEY do deserve credit.  I give my husband Gene credit all the time, but stay tuned to read about the real, under-acknowledged, heroes of our foster family:

Mylo and Chase.

Best Buds

If you are interested in finding out more about Hank, or have questions on how to meet him, or adopt him, please visit: www.minnesotapitbull.com.

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Some words from Hank.

19 Sep

Hank wanted to say some things to his adoring fans.  He has a rather large head these days.. and not only physically!  He asked me to type for him though, as he can’t spell very well.  If you haven’t read about Hank yet you should read https://pittiesforyourthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/some-hanky-panky-going-on/ first. 

Hank here.  I figured that since my Chelsea Mom gets to write about me.. I should get to say some things myself.  Only fair eh? 

I’m a little concerned that she will edit everything I say.  I have a hard time seeing on that hard piece of paper so I have no idea if she’s actually writing what I want.  If she says anything about me stealing socks, snoring in my sleep, or that accident I had in the house the other day you should know she’s lying. 

First off, I wish that my foster mom and dad would listen when I try to tell them my past.  I look at them, and try to tell them what my life has been like, but they just make cooing noises at me and rub my ears.   Then I forget what I’m trying to say.  OR they bring out what they call “Treats” and I lose all control of my thoughts.  I GOTTA GET THAT “TREAT”!

Anyways, if they only knew my story then they’d understand why I am SOOOO excited to sit on the couch!  Or even better their laps on the couch.  Sometimes they tell me “Sitting on the couch is a privilege not a right” but I usually pretend I don’t hear them (He He).   They’d also understand why I get so excited about those hard white plastic things that taste like chicken.  I also like balls, and stuffed toys; pretty much all toys.  Chelsea Mom says I’m like a puppy sometimes!  I just think it’s more fun that way. 

Chelsea Mom and Dad Gene are teaching me to sit.  They think I don’t know how to do it. But I DO!  I’m just so much shorter than my foster brothers that if I sit I’m way farther away from the “treats” than they are! 

MMMM.  “Treats”. 

I digress.

There are some things I DON’T like and I think Mom Chelsea and Dad Gene should fix these issues right away.     

The hair dryer.  It’s unnatural to have hot wind!

The vacuum cleaner.  Does she need to chase me with it?

When my foster brothers don’t want to play with me.

When my foster brothers sit on me!  What do I look like, some chump?

Dog Pile.

When foster mom doesn’t let me eat tissue paper.  I tried to tell her I was making art for her, but she didn’t care. 

Really tall beds. – I can’t even get ON foster mom and dad’s bed.  I keep suggesting that they get a new one and they say “What do you think, Hank, money grows on trees?” (Those green leafs look an awful lot like money to me..)

I think that’s about it.  I’m a pretty happy kid.  I like love and snuggles.  I like belly rubs, wiggling, and I like to play. Chelsea Mom may be right about the snoring thing, I really like to make fun noises.  I guess I don’t even really mind when my foster brothers sit on me.  It can be nice in a dog pile. 

So, I’d have to say I’m a pretty lucky boy to come off the streets to a family that feeds me, lets me sleep on the furniture, takes me for walks, and gives me lots of love!  

Chelsea Mom keeps telling me that some family is going to steal me away from her someday and make me their own!  She says she’s going to cry and miss me SO much, but that I will LOVE my new family.  I don’t want to make Chelsea Mom cry, but I do SO want a family of my own.  When the time comes I’ll give Chelsea Mom kisses to make her feel better, and then I’ll wiggle my butt away with my NEW FAMILY.  Stay tuned, I hope it’s soon!

Mister “Hank”y Panky.

13 Sep

Hank begging for a foster.

Meet Mister Hank. Also known as Hanky Pank (and Hank the Tank, and the list goes on).  Hank will go down in the books as my first foster pitbull(FINALLY!!) .  I found him on Minnesota Pitbull Rescue’s Facebook page begging for a foster so that he could be sprung from puppy prison (animal control).  His picture explained that he was found on the streets of St. Paul about 20 pounds underweight and covered in urine.  One look in his big, soulful, “love-me” eyes and I did just that.  I fell in love.  Considering how underweight he was they may have been “feed-me” eyes.. but I’m going with “love-me”.

I said I would of COURSE foster this peanut, and the very next day volunteers dropped him off with me, in Duluth, at my work.

Hank on his way to me!

First off,  Minnesota Pitbull Rescue volunteers rock.

Second, Hank rocks.

Hank has a very mellow attitude, and adjusts to new situations incredibly well.  He spent 5 hours at the clinic I work at without making a peep.  He did however leave a trail of food, drool and urine from one end of the clinic to the other!  In spite of his messiness the staff fell for him instantly.  He looks so thin and damaged, and yet he has this incredibly sensitive, loving demeanor that is obvious at once.

Hank is about 4 years old, will weigh about 60 pounds, and is very short and stocky.  He has a large head, large feet, short little legs, and a long body.  He is incredibly cute.

I always get a little nervous when I bring new dogs to meet my own two, but Mylo, Chase, and Hank get along just fine.  Hank attempts to follow them around, but Mylo and Chase are much faster than Hank is with his short stubby legs.

Watching Hank run is one of my new favorite things.   He runs so sideways you think he’ll fall over, which he occasionally does.  Hank is not the most graceful dog I’ve ever met.  He is slightly bowl-legged, which is probably increased by his current scrawniness, and stamps his feet all around the house wiggling his butt.  He reminds me of a cute little dinosaur waving his big head around, stamping his feet, and wagging his tail.

We discovered right away that Hank may not have ever lived in a house.  He has probably never known what its like to sleep with his human on the bed, or had a dog bed of his own.  He was not house trained, was afraid of our stairs, and looked at the couches in complete awe.  He couldn’t believe that dogs were allowed on these giant squishy things!

Hank on the couch with Mylo.

Dogs that have never experienced stairs are often afraid of them.. and unfortunately at our house dogs have to go down 2 stairs to get outside.  I’m sure I looked rather humorous trying to carry his underweight, but bulky, 55 pound body down the stairs.  It was either carry him, or let him out the front door and walk him all the way around the house to the fence in the back.  Thankfully, after about 4 days, Hank BRAVED the stairs.  He typically trips not only down them, but also up them, but he’s showing marked improvement.

The first weekend at our house Hank got to go to a friend’s cabin with us.  It was a big weekend for him!  He got to be around 8 new dogs and our two. 11 dogs at one cabin!  Hank did fine with all of the dogs, from the feisty little wiener dog, “Wiener”, to the un-neutered Labrador Retrievers.  He also got to meet a bunch of new people.  It was great to get to bring him with because even people who would typically be afraid of a large headed, cropped eared, pitbull all got to see how gentle he was and how much he loved people.  Everyone wanted to snuggle with him and kept telling him how fast he was going to find a new home.

It was also great for us as fosters because now we know a lot more about Hank.  Now we know that he sticks around off leash, he doesn’t get nervous around large groups of people, he does well with all kinds of dogs, and isn’t bothered by four-wheelers and other loud noises.  This will make many potential new families very happy!

Hank at the cabin.

In spite of his initial habit of creating lakes of urine on our floors (he is now house-broken), and his outright terror of our stairs, Hank has been an absolute joy to be around since minute one.  He gets large amount of joy out of very simple things.  He enjoys chewing on Mylo’s legs, meal times, treats, butt scratches, carrying shoes around the house (which we discovered when sets of shoes were mysteriously one shoe short), running after our dogs, chewing on nylabones, and he especially loves snuggling.  He will push his way into a lap whether there’s room for him or not.

Hank will be an incredible addition to anyone’s home, and because of that will be extremely hard for Gene and I to give up.  Fostering isn’t always a ray of golden sunshine, no matter what I may tell you.  On an obvious level, picking up poop off the floor has its downsides, as does tripping over the mass of 3 dogs crammed in the teeny entry way, or teeny kitchen.  However, those things don’t bother me.  The hardest part is falling in love with a dog who you know you will eventually give up.  Thinking about losing Hank physically hurts me, but in spite of that, I keep my fingers crossed every day, hoping that some great family will fall for my new baby as much as I have, and steal him away from me.  I’ve been here before, many times.  It’s a complicated wish, full of mixed emotions, tears, and happiness.

I vow to enjoy him while I have him. Show him what it means to be loved. Teach him what I can.  And let go of him when he needs me to.

Just Me.

12 Sep Senior Chase

So, here I am.  Just little ole me, with my big dreams, and no good ways to go about achieving them yet.

 

Because of some fluke in my DNA I seem to care more about dogs than people.

Me and my boys.

 

I can’t get myself to cry at funerals or at my own wedding, but I tear up every time I see, or read about, a dog being abused, a dog starving, when a dog loses a loved one, when someone loses their beloved dog, and when a dog does something amazing.

 

When I first started reading about animal rescue I inevitably ended up reading about insane cases of animal abuse.  You can’t have one without the other.  The more I read the more I cried.  And I couldn’t stop reading.  I was addicted to finding out about all of the things that need to be stopped. I was addicted to crying for these dogs that I’d never met.  Someone should be.  Someone needs to care. What kind of sick people tie their dog to a bowling ball and throw it in to the lake JUST deep enough that the dog’s nose can stick out? Or what kind of person bothers keeping a dog in their apartment that they’re going to starve to death?  It takes a LONG time for a 55 pound dog to starve to death.  I read about all of the fighting rings and fighting busts.  I read stories about dogs who were saved in the nick of time but would have years of traumatic experiences to get over, and I read stories about dogs who were never saved.  I read all the stories that most people don’t want to read because they are so sad.

 

Many of the stories that I read are about pitbull type dogs.  They are often in the hands of the wrong kinds of owners, and often mistreated for the pleasure of sick people.   To me, there is nothing sweeter than pitbull eyes, and the large flat pitbull foreheads are perfect for kissing.  It’s so heartwarming to hear about pitbulls that come out of miserable situations and turn in to great family dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs.

 

After reading all these amazing blogs and stories about people who are rescuing, starting organizations, fostering, volunteering, ect I got all these ideas in my head about how I could help.  My ideas are big ideas.. So I started one step at a time, the only way I know how. Fostering is my step one.

 

I LOVE fostering dogs. It’s a great place to start. So far I have fostered Tigger, Ginger, Gunner, Romeo, Reddie, Emmitt, Izzy and Bubb.  Someday I’ll write more about them but for now I’ll keep it basic.  They were all different kinds of dogs, with completely different stories, that all ended up in wonderful homes, some that even keep in touch with me.

 

Now I’m taking another step.  Now I am fostering for a Pitbull Rescue; Minnesota Pitbull Rescue out of the St. Paul area(mnpitbull.com).  I’m so proud to be a part of their organization because they have incredible volunteers, and are incredibly dedicated to educating their area about the pitbull type dogs.  I hope that by taking this step I will discover ways to bring pitbull education to the Duluth area, and someday my big dreams will be even bigger.

 

On another note: I’m so lucky to have a man as supportive as Gene by my side.  He lets me bring strange dogs home all the time, and more than just letting them come in to our home, he also cares for them.   He frequently stays up late discussing ideas and plans that I have, regardless of if I can make them happen right now or not.  He also loves pitbulls (or we wouldn’t be married..), and he holds me everytime I cry my eyes out over some dog I’ve never met, even if he thinks I’m silly.

Our family on our wedding day.

 

Stay tuned for a post about Mister Hank, our first pitbull foster; a lovable and bouncy, short-legged, big-headed brindle pittie who was found on the streets covered in urine and almost 20 pounds underweight.

 

Hank at the shelter.

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